The Best Shows to Catch at the 2019 Vancouver Improv Festival

Full disclosure: at least half of our editorial team self-identifies as improv nerds, and bring up “yes, and”ing so often that we’re pretty sure we’ve been blocked by a few colleagues on the office Slack channel. But there’s a reason we spend our free time playing make-believe with other with other professional adults: it’s a magical feeling to create something out of nothing. 

Which is why we’re counting down the days until Vancouver Improv Fest—so we can show the non-believers what it’s all about. 

At the Cultch for the first time in its 20-plus year history, VIF will be putting plenty of local heroes on display for 2019, including appearances from some of our editors—brag alert—as part of Nasty Women Comedy and Fistful of Kicks, as well as fan faves Little Mountain Improv (pictured above at last year’s fest) and Sunday Service. But festival director Amy Shostak has also curated a killer lineup of hilarious out-of-towners, coming in from Toronto, L.A. and Isreal to strut their spontaneous stuff on stage. And if you’re curious about trying ‘prov for yourself? There’s comfort-zone-pushing, deeply silly workshops happening all week long, too.

Here are the can’t-miss shows on next week’s lineup… whether you’re a proud improv nerd or just ‘prov-curious.  

5 Must-See Acts to Catch at Vancouver Improv Fest


Friday, September 27, 9:45 p.m. and Saturday, September 28, 9:35 p.m.

You’ll be in good hands with these improv legends—Stephnie Weir (MadTV), Bob Dassie (Dasariski, Baby Wants Candy), and Rich Talarico (Dasariski, writer: Key & Peele) have been performing dynamic long-form comedy together for twenty years. 


Friday, September 27, 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, September 28, 7:30 p.m.

They’ve come a long way from home to perform at VIF—Lamabati hails from Israel, where they’re well loved as winners of the very first Israeli improv championship and founders of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem’s improv communities.


Wednesday, September 25, 7:30 p.m. and Friday, September 27, 8:00 p.m.

Second City has been pumping out some of our most beloved comedians for years (Tina Fey and Amy Poehler met as part of the comedy school’s touring company), and the women of the L.A.-based Pearl—who focus on long, hilarious, relationship-focused scenes—count it as their alma matter, too. 

Missed Connections

Saturday, September 28, 9:45 p.m.

Real Craigslist “Missed Connections” ads spark inspiration for scenes in this whimsical form, featuring Vancouverite Ali Froggatt and guest star Andrew Phung of Kim’s Convenience. 

Coko and Daphney

Wednesday, September 25, 9:30 p.m. and Thursday, September 26, 9:30 p.m.

They’ve performed at Just for Laughs and opened for Gina Yashere, and now Toronto comedy duo Coko and Daphney bring the Black Girl Magic and laughs galore. 

Vancouver Improv Fest
September 24-29, 2019 at the Cultch
Schedule and tickets at